Ukraine proposes 'grain bank' to PH

At a glance

  • Ukrainian Embassy to Malaysia Chargé d'Affaires speaks to Philippine media on Wednesday during his four-day visit to Manila.

Ukraine has proposed to supply the Philippines with more grain, one of its top exports, in a bid to help the country "balance" the prices of basic commodities.

Denys Mykhailiuk, Chargé d'Affaires of the Ukrainian Embassy in Malaysia that has jurisdiction over the Philippines, issued the proposal as he met with various Philippine government officials during his four-day visit to Manila to seek for increased bilateral trade between the two countries.

As part of boosting its ties with the Philippines that also includes the establishment of an embassy in Manila, Kiev will be willing to provide the country with grain "on the long term" and "constant" basis, according to Mykhailiuk.

That's for the Philippines to have its own grain bank, he added.

"We have proposed that to the government of the Philippines. So the goal is on your side. We can deliver immediately," Mykhailiuk said in a press conference on Wednesday, adding that one shipment can already "stabilize" the Philippine prices.

Amid concerns on grain stability due to Kiev's ongoing war with Moscow, Ukraine could commit to its proposal using its grain corridors in the Black Sea ports, he said.

"This can help you to establish a grain bank to leverage a lot of volatility of all the prices of the market," Mykhailiuk said.

"So it's been the situation: we will sell our grain and empty our storages before next year," he added.

Ukraine is tagged as Europe’s bread basket as it has an advantage of producing agricultural commodities.

Ukraine and Russia export about a quarter of the world’s wheat, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity.

Mykhailiuk added it would also be good for President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., who has been pushing for food security in international stages, "for economical and political reasons."

"So for the Republic of Philippines, it filled in the balancing of the prices... especially President Marcos has taken responsibility for agriculture for his own shoulders," he said.

In November 2022, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro assured the world of a steady supply of wheat and grains to the market.

In an interview with Manila Bulletin at the sidelines of ASEAN Summits in Cambodia, Kuleba said Ukraine has "a goal of remaining a reliable supplier of agriculture products to the global market" but only if "Russia continues to honor the Black Sea Grain Initiative."

The initiative is a deal which the United Nations and Turkey brokered to allow exports from Ukraine of grain, other foodstuffs, and fertilizer, including ammonia, to resume through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor from Ukrainian ports of Chornomorsk, Odesa, and Yuzhny/Pivdennyi to the rest of the world.

This time, Mykhailiuk believed Russia "is not in position" to withdraw from the initiative, as proven by its two unsuccesful attempts to do so.